Are you one of the 20 million Americans still waiting on their stimulus check? Although the first several rounds of payments designed to soften the blow of the economic recession amid the coronavirus pandemic have gone out to eligible recipients via direct deposit, that method is coming to a close soon. The Internal Revenue Service is pushing anyone who hasn't gotten a payment yet to add their direct deposit banking information to the agency's Get My Payment website by Wednesday.
A release from the IRS said the agency plans to being preparing files to send paper checks after 12 p.m. ET Wednesday, which means if the agency doesn't have your banking information on hand, you'll miss out on the fastest way to get your stimulus check and may have to wait for a paper check — which the IRS says will begin arriving in late May and into June. About 5 million checks will go out each week, according to a House committee memo.
Residents in some states have had more luck getting their payments than others, according to a CBS MoneyWatch analysis of IRS data and the number of taxpayers in each state. For example, West Virginia has the highest share of taxpayers who have received their payments, with almost all taxpayers having received their payments. The lowest share is New Jersey, where about 7 in 10 people have their checks in hand. The gap between those states could likely be due to residents' income, tax filing status and bank account information. The IRS is first sending stimulus checks to lower- and middle-income households. Because New Jersey's median annual household income is almost $82,000 — nearly twice West Virginia's $44,000 — it's possible more taxpayers in New Jersey will receive their checks later.
But there could be other reasons you still haven't gotten your stimulus check. The IRS has been using 2018 and 2019 tax documents to disburse payments to some, but even people who did not file in those years may be eligible. If you missed filing in 2019, you may need to do so in order to receive payment. Taxpayers now have until July 15 to file their 2019 tax returns.
The stimulus payments total $1,200 per person for those who earned $75,000 or less on their last tax return and are prorated for those who earned up to $99,000. Those amounts are doubled for couples filing jointly, and there is a $500 additional payment per qualifying child. That can add up to $3,400 for a family of four.